I asked this question a couple of years ago but thought the time had come around to ask it again. Plus, last time I got some great responses! And with all the TB vs. WB threads lately it is clear that there are just as many slow TBs as there are fast WBs!
So do you prefer to "kick a little" or to "pull a little?" (Generalities, of course!)
This is kind of a current topic for me because I've always ridden horses that had their own engines. Then I started riding a horse who really needed a LOT of LEG, and it just isn't a natural ride for me and I find it kind of difficult.
So I think that I prefer a horse whose default gear is "go," rather than "stand still."
Originally Posted by tidy rabbit
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.
Oh I totally agree with you!! I much prefer a horse with a good deal of gas! For me I think besides it being more fun, a horse that is naturally more forward gives me more confidence to jumps rather than one who needs more encouragement.
I can enjoy a ride on a horse with nervous energy, but it just sucks the energy right out of me trying to be constant horse psychiatrist. (I don't mean a green bean type of nervousness - I mean a horse who is constantly in "the sky is falling!" mode.) Growing up with quarter horses, I'm familiar and comfortable with slow, but I now have a TB I love who I had to teach "go" as he had been stuck in "slow" when I got him.
I first wanted to answer "pull" because all the years of riding OTTB's it was the norm for me..... but over the last three years, I have been riding horses that require leg and less hand... OH it has be a huge adjustment for me... but let me say this:
I much prefer being able to use my lower leg.. it creates a stability that I never had over the jump. I have had to ride off my knees for so long out of survival - -
and let me add - - yes one of my horses is WB but the other is a TB/WB so I have the best of both worlds with this one.....
SO I vote kick... because heres the deal... you can still teach a horse to be responsive to the leg without being overreactive to it..... The best ride ever...
"The horse should pay attention to two things only: the rider’s aids and his own self-preservation at the jump—not the environment. ~ GM
Foward horses all the way! I made a mistake of buying a sluggish warmblood after my trainer said he would put me in the ribbons...but the truth was, even though he was gorgeous, I didn't have fun riding him because I had to put so much effort into getting him to jump!
I quickly reverted back to my Thoroughbred and sold the WB. Everyone has their preferences!
Absolutely woah. I've ridden mostly OTTB's or Welsh/TB crosses, and can't stand something I have to nag at to get what I want. That said, I tend to be a very sensitive/soft rider that the horses with an engine tend to respond well to.
Bottom line, I don't want to have to ask ask ask every single stride, just not enjoyable for me.
"And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood
If I have to chose between always in 'go' and always needing a bit of oomph, I'll take the latter. I'd rather be able to get a bit of speed when I ask but be able to shut it off instantly if I have to, so I'd prefer he want to stop rather than go.
New horse is definitely a kick rather than a pull. (And yes, he is an OTTB freshly OT.)
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
yes, definitely like the engine humming and ready to go! Most of my TBs have a strong idle and once I taught 'em to maintain a constant speed at a hunter friendly pace with little interference from me, life is sweet. I did have one that required a real "warmblood" ride. He had "go" but he wanted more support from me thatn I was used to giving. Fortunately for both of us, he's someone else's horse now. We are both happier, I think.
My young horse struck me as a real lazy bones. Usually I school my horses at about a "5" because I know their natural engine is going to take them up to a 7 when the jumps are in the ring. But this guy, such a lazy podunk on the lunge line or being ponied along with my older hunter. So when I was lunging him, I really made a point of teaching him to have a bit more trot than he was inclined - maybe an 8.5, thinking he would settle down to a 7. And I was a little bummed, because I'm an old dog about learning new tricks ... but I really, really fell in love with this horse so I was thinking I may have to learn a new trick (boo, hiss!) because he isn't getting sold. Hah! Shoulda known better! TB comes through. Once I got on him, I found he had plenty of engine instinctively! Whew, me learning a new ride promised to be ugly for everyone.
Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.
I love my "pull" ride, takes a LOT of leg though since she wants to know you're there for her rather than a passenger. Have never liked any ride that I've had to constantly nag to keep moving. If they sharpen off my leg after a couple rides then that's fine, but dead-sided is a no go for me. Likewise though, I don't like a "pull" ride that I have to constantly whoa. Responsiveness is the goal for me.
I'm split on this- I am USED to the ones I have to urge on, and I prefer (especially starting back up after a few years completely out of the saddle) feeling like i'm NOT on a runaway train, especially over fences. However, I do feel that from a training aspect, it's easier to work with horses that are go-go-go, circling, trying something again, rather than horses that completely just down, shove their hooves into their ears and sing, "Lalalalalalaaaaa! I don't HEAR YOU!" It seems if you're working with a more spirited animal, even if nothing may be exactly 'clicking' in their head at a given moment at least the wheels are turning, their legs are moving, the mind isn't turned off. (Here I'm thinking of some training lessons I rode in. One friend was on a psychotic OTTB and the other was on a draft/tb. Even though crazyhorse was full throttle ahead and I did NOT envy her owner, circlecirclecirclecirclecircle, at least they were attempting things anew, again, and again... When the draft x decided to stop, there was no moving that horse. He became a decorative fixture to that arena.)
I hate having to constantly feel like I need to add leg. I want one that takes me to the jumps. I've always ridden TB's and like that feel. I have ridden a couple of friend's warmbloods and hated feeling like I had to push them to the fence.
I didn't learn to really ride to the jumps until college, so I kind of learned on push-me horses or those a little short on step (also b/c I tended to pull to everything and putting me on the shorter ones MADE me ride forward). I also tend to get a little nervous and a push-me horse gave me something to do with my nerves. But he ones I've ridden since then (and the one I just bought) have had plenty of step and I'm still getting used to them!
"Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"